About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

ACTA Report Helps Explain Presidential Election Results

Earlier this fall the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) released the 12th edition of their invaluable annual report entitled What Will They Learn? in which they review core cirricula @ over 1,100 four-year public & private institutions in America.

For someone getting ready to select a college there is no better place to start than this ACTA report.  ACTA recently wrote to me that they are "the only organization that works directly with university trustees, alumni, lawmakers, faculty, & students - providing them with the tools needed to solve the serious threats that are facing higher education. Threats like the ongoing assaults on free expression on campus, steadily declining academic standards, & an unsustainable rise in the cost of college education.  We provide college leaders with the unvarnished information & resources they need to be effective & efficient, ensuring that the money that students, families, & taxpayers pay for higher education truly prepares them for engaged & informed citizenship & a rewarding career.  And, @ an affordable price."

The search for the right college can be overwhelming & many students & parents can be fooled by college reputations.  For example, ACTA grades  Harvard "D" with an annual tuition of $51,925 & Johns Hopkins "F" with an annual tuition of $55,350 - compared to the 23 schools on the ACTA  "A" list with annual tuitions from $6,456 for Kennesaw State University all the way up to $55,892 for Pepperdine.  So parents & students - make sure you know what you are paying for because employers do know, or will find out shortly after hiring you, what you learned that is useful in growing a business.

The ACTA report focuses solely on classroom achievement regarding what the schools teach while other college evaluators focus on way less meaningful topics.  

For instance , the U.S. News & World Report survey's top rankings concentrate on how selective a school is.  The WSJ/Times Higher Education College Rankings annual report is 40% based on the salary graduates earn & the debt burden they take on, 30% weighting for the spending schools put into instruction & student services, 20% weighting of student interaction with faculty & other students, & 10% assesses the diversity of the university community.

The above criteria don't tell you what matters most: what students are learning.  What Will They Learn? is a resource that does tell you exactly what the schools are teaching & what graduates have learned.  ACTA actually grades the schools.

By the WSJ's measure Harvard is the top school in America but is graded "D" by ACTA.  My friend Anne Neal, past president of ACTA & a Harvard alumni, used to tell me you could be an English major @ Harvard & graduate without ever reading one play by William Shakespeare.  Doesn't sound too rigorous does it?

Now I was only interested in learning engineering & putting my knowledge to work for gainful employment which of course depended on how much I could contribute to the growth of my employer's business.  Capitalism, after graduating from a school known by employers to produce positive results, makes it simple.  Pursuing your career otherwise is most likely building on bamboo shoots in a swamp instead of bedrock.

But the major college rankings systems are unconcerned with what schools are teaching & whether students are learning anything of value. 

Just look @ the following graphic & see if it resembles your own everyday experience.  So many people have told me recently that calling a bank, a doctor's office, or restaurant for take out, let alone a government office, has left them cold & dissatisfied in that the person they talked to representing the bank, doctor's office, restaurant, or government office, seemed disinterested, not engaged in the conversation, or actually gave out wrong information - if they answered the phone @ all.  In short these people exhibited many of the skills gaps shown on the graphic below - especially not being able to communicate effectively orally.  When an 80% effective oral communication (really should be 100%) is listed as a very important quality & only 40% of the time it is experienced something is wrong.
—Challenge Success, Stanford Univers
WS, MoneyW

And that something that is wrong is the poor education system in America.  Neal Boortz said "Government schools & teachers' unions are more dangerous to America's future than al Qaeda ever was."

Professor Friedman wrote in the Cato Policy Report, March/April 1999 that "any institution will tend to express its own values & its own ideas.  Our public education system is a socialsit institution.  A socialist institution will teach socialsit values, not principles of private enterprise."

Hillsdale College reports that for decades far too many American K-12 schools have failed to provide young people with a solid grounding in American civics - the study of American history, government, & economics & that this failure has contributed to the attraction so many young people today feel for socialism.

In turn, American colleges & universities are now hotbeds of progressive & "politically correct" ideology, including socialism, to the point that nearly half of younger Americans would "prefer living in a socialist country than a capitalistic one."  The word "socialism" does not carry the stigma that it did in the past thanks to celebrity politicians like AOC.  Much of America's youth ignorantly think the term refers to FaceBook or Twitter. 

The above phenomenon was vividly demonstrated in the recent presidential election in that young voters backed Biden over Trump 61% to 36% - source AP VoteCast.  All other things being equal this virtually handed Biden the presidency.

In Washington County, Michigan - home of the University of Michigan - Biden received 23,000 more votes than Hillary got in 2016.  Michigan State's home county provided 20,000 more votes for Biden.  This 43,000 additional youth votes for lackluster Biden was over four times the amount that Trump won Michigan by in 2016 thereby attributing a very significant portion of Biden's win in Michigan to people 18 to 29 years old.

A similar story is told in Wisconsin where Dane County, home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, produced nearly 35,000 more votes for Biden than Hillary received in 2016.  Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by less than 23,000 votes.

For a quarter of a century or more WI, MI, & PA have been tempting targets that looked in reach for Republicans only to fall short except in 2016 when Trump won all three by a combined total of less than 80,000 votes - thereby showing Trump's vulnerability regarding reelection in 2020.

Republicans were hoping for a split between Biden supporters & the Bernie/AOC/Warren hard socialist faction of the Democrat party - but the hatred of these people for Trump made them vote for Biden, who ran the most pitiful campaign in electoral history.

The above partial analysis of the 2020 presidential election results, as it relates to the successful indoctrination of America's youth (18 to 29) toward socialism, is in lockstep with the parents of K-12 students who don't want their children exposed to the Wuhan coronavirus.  These parents prefer that their children go to school online knowing they are not keeping up academically.  Several studies have shown that in the eleven months since the Wuhan coronavirus struck that K-12 students have fallen about 5 months behind what was already a poor learning system.  Parents of such students are concerned only about their children not contracting Covid- 19, without feeling any responsibility about how they could ensure their children kept up with their education - which is not even an afterthought as American students fall further & further behind students in the rest of the world.

This topic will be resumed in the next post, when a complete presidential election analysis will be presented. 


  1. Glad I don’t have to worry about college for another 12 years when my granddaughter is ready. The professor leftism has been around for decades. I remember a sociology prof in spring 70 telling the class if he could he would have us on the street and the protesters in class. Never took another soc class.

  2. Great article. Agree with everything. Look forward to the next post with the complete presidential analysis.

  3. Doug
    Thanks for this much needed analysis. Yes- the state of higher education can be deceiving and overall has been in decline in terms of critical reasoning and technical skills required today. That is a prime reason many innovative start ups and established leaders of tech innovation hire from abroad the US and even set up foreign subsidiaries. How can the US respond?

    One important way is for volunteers to visit high schools to provide career advice - what course selections, majors will maximize college investments. Course work concentrated in physical, biological, health sciences, engineering, computer science, machine learning and AI, with economics and entrepreneurial business prepare one for a rewarding career.

    With demand shifting to such courses and away from many social studies, successful colleges will adapt.

    As a part time college instructor teaching AI, I fully explain how Joseph Schumpeter’s creative destruction works with AI- it replaces old jobs but with net effect of more jobs to those that embrace AI - especially subject matter experts in their current jobs. And new technologies such as AI create ancillary sub industries - such as growing AI software development sub industry.

    Time for us in the private sector to get more involved in our schools.

  4. This post has great info - I forwarded it to our Guidance counselor and Immaculata’s.